Okay, Cubbies, that’s not a bad start. Not a bad start at all!
Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, scored nine runs, and did it all without the benefit of the long ball. I don’t think I can express how happy that makes me, especially that ninth inning rally of base (and extra-base) hits.
The Cubs have now scored 27 runs in their past three games alone, and have moved back up to .500! These are small victories, to be sure, but don’t be mistaken, they are victories. Piece by piece, this Cubs team can turn it around. I’m sure of it. They just have to keep the good times rolling.
Jake Arrieta is on the mound tonight, and he’s coming off a relatively rough start against the Rockies, though he’s reportedly been dealing with a thumb issue that may have just recently worsened. Hopefully, he can give the Cubs at least six solid innings and let the offense go back to work against the Pirates pitching.
Of course, it won’t be easy. Opposing Arrieta today, is the Pirates best starter right now, Ivan Nova. Through 13 starts (89.0 IP), Nova has recorded a 2.83 ERA (11th in MLB) and 1.8 fWAR (17th in MLB). How has he done it? Well, weirdly, to be honest. Nova’s got a minuscule 13.7% strikeout rate that somehow looks ENORMOUS next to his 2.0% walk rate (best in baseball). If the Cubs are going to get to him today, they’ll have to do the damage with their bats, because free passes should be few and far between.
Okay, win this series today and take the pressure off tomorrow, please. Let’s go Cubs!
Chicago Cubs (33-33) at Pittsburgh Pirates (30-37) – 7:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 4.68 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 3.81 xFIP; 3.43 K/BB
Pirates: Ivan Nova (R): 2.83 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 3.98 xFIP; 6.86 K/BB
- Adam Frazier, LF
- Josh Harrison, 2B
- Gregory Polanco, RF
- David Freese, 3B
- Josh Bell, 1B
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Francisco Cervelli, C
- Jordy Mercer, SS
- Trevor Williams, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Ian Happ, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Jake Arrieta, P